MAIL deliveries in Huddersfield could be even later, it emerged today.
Postal staff – currently on strike in the town – have been asked to start work later.
And they have warned that will mean some letters and packages will not reach their destinations until the afternoon, which could be bad news for businesses in particular.
The news came as post staff in Huddersfield continued their strike action.
A shop steward said participation in a postal strike has been unanimous.
Communication Workers Union (CWU) members walked out at noon on Thursday for a 48-hour stoppage to protest against a below-inflation pay offer.
The union – which is staging a second two-day strike from Monday – is also fighting Royal Mail modernisation plans which it warns will lead to 40,000 job losses.
Simon Midgley, CWU office representative for Huddersfield Delivery Office on St Peters Street, said support for the strike was total.
Mr Midgley said staff at the delivery office were being asked to work from 6am to 2pm rather than 5am to 1pm.
He said: “It would mean we couldn’t start deliveries until 10am which would drag them out into later in the day.
“People want their mail as early as possible so obviously this change would lead to more complaints from the public.”
Mr Midgley said his union recognised the disruption caused by the strike. He said: “We’re sympathetic to people who rely on our service but we’ve been forced to take this action.”
He said: “All the staff came out, no-one worked except the managers. The support has been excellent and it showed the strength of feeling about this dispute.”
Around 30 of the office’s 300 staff took part in a picket outside the building yesterday.
Mr Midgley said: “Lots of passing motorists honked their horns and we had no negative comments from passers-by.”
He stressed that the dispute was not just about pay. Mr Midgley said: “We’ve been offered 2.5% which is below the current rate of inflation of 4.6%. But the strike is also about the wholesale rush to cut services.
“We want modernisation but not at the expense of our conditions or the service we provide.”
The Royal Mail said that official payroll figures showed that the support for the strike was weakening, with 50% more people working than during previous national strike days.
“Attendance at sites across the country varied hugely with up to 90% of our people working as normal in some offices and with around 35,000 people coming to work as usual during the first 24-hour period of action.
“This is around a third of the people due to be at work. We expect this level to rise over the next few days. The high level of attendance means that we are continuing to process mail and that deliveries are taking place across the country, albeit at reduced levels,” said a spokesman